Here is an excellent film whose basic story could have been told within normal feature limits, but which, instead, is extended close to three hours. Longer or shorter, this panorama of British army life is depicted with a technical skill and artistry that marks it as one of the really fine pix to come out of a British studio.

Here is an excellent film whose basic story could have been told within normal feature limits, but which, instead, is extended close to three hours. Longer or shorter, this panorama of British army life is depicted with a technical skill and artistry that marks it as one of the really fine pix to come out of a British studio.

It’s a clear, continuous unreeling of events in the life of an English military man, from the Boer War, through World War I and up to the completion of the training and equipment of England’s Home Guard. Story revolves around an officer (Clive Candy) who has spent all his life in the army and still feels the German people as a whole are decent human beings, and that they’re only tools of their war lords.

The role of Candy is spasmodically well enacted by Roger Livesey, who looks a little too mature in the scenes of his younger days and a bit too virile at the finish. More generous praise should go to Anton Walbrook as an Uhlan officer. This is an excellent characterization depicted with delicacy and sensitiveness. Deborah Kerr contributes attractively as the feminine lead in three separate characters through the generations, and a score of other artists leave little to criticize from the histrionic side.

Title is based on the symbolic figure of the old-time English officers who have been axed, not only due to age but because of their contempt for present methods of warfare as compared with ‘the good old days’. Cartoonist [David] Low, in the Evening Standard, christened them ‘Colonel Blimps’.

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

UK

Production

Archers/Independent. Director Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger; Producer Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger; Screenplay Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger; Camera Georges Perinal; Editor John Seabourne; Music Allan Gray; Art Director Alfred Junge

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1943. Running time: 163 MIN.

With

Roger Livesey Deborah Kerr Anton Walbrook Roland Culver Albert Lieven James McKechnie

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